Brighton Pride 2016: The ultimate guide

Brighton Pride is undoubtedly one of the jewels in the UK’s crown of great Pride events. Beyond being just an awesome parade and park event, there’s a whole heap of events that span the festival weeks from dog shows to art exhibitions to be enjoyed. Pride Diversity Games Brighton and Hove (various venues), Saturday & Sunday 24th-25th July 6 sports, over 1000 participants and oodles of fun, this event seeks to celebrate our differences whilst raising money for good causes. Alongside muscle-flexing activities like football and rugby, there’s yoga, walking and the highlight that is the Rainbow Run. Pride Dog Show Preston Park, Sunday 31st July Hairy, panting, slobbering - get your mind out of the gutter and join a collection of adorable pooches as professional judges score them for their woof-factor. The awards are accompanied by retail stalls and a fierce doggy catwalk. Pride Pleasure Gardens Old Stein Gardens & Victoria Gardens, Friday to Sunday 5th-7th August Brand spanking new festival zone complete with entertainment, street food markets and bars. Venture into the gardens for performances by X-Factor alumni Lucy Spraggan, wigtastic Sink The Pink and even some good old-fashioned line dancing. Yee-hah. Uniting Nations: The Exhibition Jubilee Library, July 22nd to August 7th Off the heels of this year’s theme, Carnival of Diversity, comes this exhibition celebrating the work of activists, organisers and participants of Pride events around the world. At a time where global homophobia is rife, it’s important to take stock of the struggles and triumphs of those in less accepting countries. Pam Ann ‘Buckle Up Bitches’ Hilton Brighton Metropole, Friday 5th August, 7pm Expect major turbulence at Brighton Pride’s exclusive opening show, as Aussie faux-hostess Pam Ann dishes out her world-famous comedy on eager passengers. Madonna, Elton John and Cher testify to this one woman tour-de-force. Pride Community Parade Brighton & Hove, Saturday 6th August Dust off those banners, get the face paint on and put on your lucky pants; Pride’s 2016 parade will march ahead with floats, costumes and over 200,000 participants. This year’s theme is Uniting Nations, campaigning for global LGBT+ rights. Pride Village Party Marine Parade, Saturday & Sunday 6th-7th August Like a gay Glastonbury, this event pops up from nowhere and showers down cabaret, bears and disco to corale Brighton’s party-goers in one place. Wristband tickets will give you licence to explore the village’s various zones. PRIDE DAY IN PRESTON PARK carly-2 Taking the stage at Pride’s main festival in Preston Park are an impressive mix of disco legends, pop divas and glitter-fuelled weirdos. Answering your call (maybe) are headliners Carly Rae Jepsen and the iconic Sister Sledge, who are bound to get party-goers feeling like one big family. Fresh of her Britain’s Got Talent stint is the fierce Alesha Dixon, joined by the uplifting sounds of DJ Fresh. Meanwhile, team talent arrives with Fleur East, Jordan Gray and Seann Miley Moore, while singers Anne Marie and Imani are sure to have you shaking it. Then there’s the inimitable Frankmusik to gush over and DJs 2 Bears to transport you to clubland. Dua Lipa could prove to be the one to watch, that is, if Pam Ann’s airplane comedy greatness doesn’t have you rolling on the floor. For something a little different and a lot more glittery, queer group Sink The Pink and the 30-member bombastic drums of Brighton’s big band, The Carnival Collective, will bring ground-shaking entertainment. Legends Cabaret Big Top The glittering camp jewel in Brighton’s Pride crown, this tent will add a splash of glamour and giggles to the party. Hosted by the iconic Lola Lasagne, a tasty mezze of cabaret will be served, including performances by La Voix, Maisie Trollette and the unmissable Drag Idol. Girls Dance Tent This tent brings all the lassies to the yard, expecting pretty girls, fresh beats and good times. Roadblocked from noon til close, DJs Lady Lola, Sandra D and Missy B will fire up the dancefloor at this cream of Pride’s ladies’ events. Brut Men’s Zone Dance Tent Boys, boys, boys. What else can we say? DJs Ross Jones and Tom Stephan are set to get the lads feeling the groove well into the night. Urban Dance Tent Parallel with this year’s diversity theme, this has evolved into the UK’s biggest multi-ethnic night. Big John Freeman and Smoochie will raise the (tent) roof with booty-shaking hip-hop, salsa and desi-beats. Advance Brighton Pride festival tickets are highly recommended. Buy your tickets before July 24 to save £5.

Words by Andrew Headspeath

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